After admitting the existing corruption in the Bureau of Customs (BOC), Embattled Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon yesterday said he can’t clean it alone.
Faeldon, facing the inquiry of the Senate Blue Ribbon committee into the smuggling of P6.4 billion worth of shabu that passed BOC, told senators that he did his best to wipe out the “tara system” or the practice of giving “grease money” to custom officials for the easy release of shipments widespread in the agency when he took over.
“Admittedly, I failed to investigate it because I cannot do it alone. I was the only one appointed up to late last year. The people I have worked with there are the people I suspect of doing the “tara”, Faeldon, who was driven to tears, told the panel.
“If you’re alone in an environment like this, you can imagine my situation,” Faeldon added.
Faeldon was almost cited contempt after he repeatedly refused to answer questions posed by Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV whether there was corruption at the BOC.
Sen. Richard Gordon directed Faeldon to answer the questions, however, Faeldon said he will not reply because Trillanes has already made up his mind and has issued press releases exposing him as a corrupt official.
“The senator has come up with a lot of accusations like that I’m in the middle of the shabu smuggling. I’m already guilty because of his accusations… many innocent people are affected by this. So why will I answer him when he has already come up with his conclusions,” Faeldon told Gordon.
“There may be something between the two of you, but don’t bring your quarrel here,” Gordon directed Faeldon and Trillanes being colleagues in the Magdalo group before they separated ways.
The BOC chief replied that it is his duty to defend ‘innocent people’ at the BOC, saying Trillanes has made ‘attacks’ on them.
Gordon suspended the inquiry after repeated arguments and talked to the emotional Faeldon.
When the hearing resumed, Gordon asked Faeldon the Trillanes’ question and the latter answered “yes.”
Faeldon has skipped the previous hearing, saying he has a heart ailment that needed brief medical confinement.